Bruins

Bruins keeping options open in first round

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Bruins keeping options open in first round

PITTSBURGH The Bruins dont look like theyll be in on the earth-shattering moves expected to go down over NHL draft weekend, but there may be a slight movement or two for Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli.
The Bs GM has a list of players hes hoping to select with the 24th pick in the first round, and recent mock drafts have had the vast majority of those defensemen prospects going well before Bostons pick.
The hope is that one of those prospects like Slater Koekkoek with a shoulder injury that knocked him out for most of the junior hockey season will drop right into Bostons lap.
I think there are a lot of defensemen in the draft class. Ive said that before, but there are a lot of good defensemen in this draft. If we dont get a defenseman well be fine because theres always good players, but were hoping that some will slip and because Ive never seen a number of NHL defensemen this large.
So I guess Im putting a spin on it. Sometimes its not bad to pick later on in the draft and see what happens. You just dont control your destiny as much. As far as the draft in general, I think its kind of going to go in different paths like after pick No. 15 or 16. Thats when guys slip, so there seems to be a drop-off at first glance. I think teams are going to go in different directions, so I think were going to get guys that we have fairly high on our list.
But theres a chance Koekkoek, Olli Maatta, Matt Finn, Hampus Lindholm and Brendan Gaunce will all picked much earlier than Bostons designated spot as the 24th team making a selection.
Standing pat was much easier when the steady flow of first round lottery picks were streaming in courtesy of the Phil Kessel deal, but now theres a possibility Boston will need to move up to get one of their targeted players.
Chiarelli said there were five players four defensemen and one forward that theyd specifically targeted and visited with, and a trade could be necessary if he feels that quintet of prospects is falling through his fingers.
We identify a cluster of players that we feel at least two or three of them will be there when we pick. Leading up to Friday, you try and figure it out. Its tough trading down to gauge where they player might fall, but at least you want to address the scenario, said Chiarelli. Leading up to that point, thats what well discuss. At the table well have five or six trade-down scenarios and five or six trade-up scenarios. Ill have tried to cue up or at least plant the seeds leading into Friday. On Friday, Ill flesh them out as the draft progresses.
The options will all be there for the Bruins when Chiarelli and Co. hit the war room draft table on Friday afternoon.
The smart money says theyll take the best available defenseman at their own spot, and then do a lot of waiting until their third round pick comes up 85th overall in the third round on Saturday afternoon.

Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

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Morning Skate: Not all smooth sailing for top picks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.

*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.

*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.

*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.  

*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.  

*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?

*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.

 

Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

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Marchand, Krug and Backes all practice, won't play vs. Devils

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are getting closer to a healthier lineup, but it won’t be in time for the Thanksgiving Eve road tilt against the upstart New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.

Brad Marchand (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and David Backes (colon surgery) all skated in red no-contact jerseys at practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, so none of those three banged-up B’s will be making the trip to Jersey. Anders Bjork (upper body) didn’t practice and is obviously out vs. the Devils as well, but Ryan Spooner might be a possibility after making it through his first full practice since tearing his groin almost six weeks ago.

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If he can make it through Wednesday's morning skate without any problems, Spooner will likely be a game-time decision against the Devils after missing the past 14 games.  

The Bruins have continued to indicate that Marchand is in the concussion protocol, though it appears the Bruins agitator is dealing with both upper body and lower body issues. Marchand was encouraged by the progress he’s making while returning to practice, so perhaps the B’s could get back one of their leading scorers sooner rather than later.

“I feel pretty good. It’s good to be back with the guys and feel like you’re a part of the team,” said Marchand, who has missed five of the past seven games after returning for the home-and-home against the Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating whenever you miss games and you miss time away from the team, but they had a great road trip and they’re playing well. It would be nice to be back in the lineup consistently and be back with the team...it’ll come.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Devils based on practice Tuesday:

Heinen-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Cehlarik

Vatrano-Spooner-Nash/Szwarz

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Beleskey-Marchand-Backes

 
Chara-McAvoy

O’Gara/Postma-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

 
Rask

Khudobin